Sheriff Says Extortion Could Have Been a Factor in Judge's Suicide

Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin says that extortion could be at the root of the recent suicide of 319th District Court Judge Tom Greenwell.

Sheriff's Department investigators have been pouring over the late judge's personal, financial, phone and online records, trying to piece together what may have caused Greenwell to end his life.

Greenwell was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in his chambers at the Nueces County Courthouse on Monday.

According to Sheriff Kaelin, it appears the extortion had been going on for some time. Financial records showed large withdrawals, leading one to believe that payoffs were being made.

Sheriff's Department detectives are trying to locate several persons of interest, one of whom is a man named Albert Fuentes, who lives at Greenwell's home. Fuentes was named in the judge's will as the sole executor.

Sources close to the investigation say that Fuentes was cooperating with authorities in the beginning, but now is refusing to speak with investigators.

Sheriff Kaelin reiterated Friday that "something extremely difficult must have been going on in the judge's personal life. So difficult that he felt suicide was his only option."


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